A1 Class

The Melbourne A1 class trams were a direct development from the previous Z3 class trams. Construction began in 1983 with 28 A1 class cars being built. Originally the class were delivered with trolley poles (not pantographs). The A1 class are externally identical to the follow-on A2 class. Internally there are differences in the fit-out and with some of the electrical and electronics; the A2 Class trams being fitted with Hanning & Kahl electronic disc brakes. When written (in 2020) these trams are nearing the end of their useful life at 35 years of age. Plans had been announced in late 2017 to begin an upgrade program to life-extend the A1 and A2 class. However, it appears that COVID-19 has played a part in their eventual fate.

As noted on the RailExpress.com.au site:

The Victorian government has confirmed $1.48 billion to locally build 100 modern, accessible trams to replace A and Z class rollingstock. The next-generation trams project has been in the interactive design stage, with indications that the future trams will include on-board energy storage to reduce the need for infrastructure upgrades. Several manufacturers have participated in design and engineering workshops to adapt their tram models for the Victorian network.

This would replace the A1 and A2 class completely and I’m guessing many of the un-refurbished Z3 class trams once introduced. The new trams (most likely called F class) will begin rolling out across the network from 2025.

There is a wealth of information on the inter-webs, my go-to site for updated information on our tram fleet is VicSIG.net. Please visit and enjoy

A1 Class Gallery (W.I.P.)

A1 Class Notes

Tram #231 was withdrawn after a major fire in the #1 end electrical cabinet on a late-night service through the city in 2013. To my knowledge, the car is still at the Preston Workshops, and not yet scrapped. Her fate is unknown. However, with the Z/A class life extension programme currently underway, if salvageable, she may yet run once more.

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